Wet-plate photographer's equipment, 1853.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Collodion wet-plates had to be exposed and developed before their surface had dried and hardened. The photograph shows a dark tent in the form of a hand-cart (which also carried the equipment), which had an orange window in it to provide 'safe' illlumination. The camera is Thomas Ottewill's sliding box folding camera of 1853; it takes 10 x 8 inch (25.4cm x 20.3cm) plates, but when folded it forms a package only 21 x 13 x 3 inches (53.3cm x 33cm x 7.6cm) in size. This was the same type of camera used by the author, Lewis Carroll, who was also a keen photographer.